Lining shadowbox

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Dec 8, 2003
I just got finished with the framing for a guitar. It’s a shadowbox moulding with a extender under it. I’m going to back it with plywood. Does anybody have any suggestion on how to line it? It going to be hinged and I think I’m only going to line the extender and the plywood with material. I would like to have a thin batting under it to make it cushy. When the case is open you will see the edge of the “upholstery”. The edge of my material has to be “clean”. Also the interior will be handled a bit so it needs to be strong (mats and foamcore won’t work). I was thinking about wrapping ¼ plywood with batting and fabric and attaching on the back. But how do I attach that inside the shadow box? Oh well if I’m going about this all wrong just tell me to quit being stupid and redirect me. Thanks friends.
Sounds like a plan to me, Jay.

Does the backing need to be removable? If not, I'd glue it down with whatever you use to glue frame corners.

If you think it may need to be replaced at some point, how about upholstry tacks with ornamental heads?

I had thought of that but the fabric and batting take room. Won't that leave a space between the foamcore and the wood? Small space yes but glue won't fill a space!
Very nice job. Mine is hinged. When you open it your looking right at an edge that will have fabric on it. The glue did give me an idea though. I think I can do that with plywood (foamcore might work too) and use construction adhesive! That will fill any gap left by the batting and fabric and stick forever!
On hinged boxes we "line" The top and back of the outer frame with fabric covered mat board cut what ever the width that is needed. It covers the edges of the inside . Everything is upholstered so to speak. We cut notches for the piano hinge. Clear as mud??

The glue you are looking for is Frank's Fabric Adhesive. Pints, qts, Gallons.

Wrap strips of 1/8" "Door Skin". It's a plywood that is usually from mahogany (also known as Luan). It's very stable and durable. You can adhear it to the walls of the frame with ATG.
As the guitar is not a paper product and has it's own acid issues, PH is not a problem or issue here.
Next wrap a backing board and adhear (and a little glue wouldn't hurt here) to the swing out backing, whick I would make out of 1/2" 9-ply baltic birch. Nothing is as stable, and the edges sand and finish like glass. The 1/2" will give you some meat to mount into.

good luck
"You can adhear it to the walls of the frame with ATG."

Are you sure that will hold up over time. This is intended to be very functional, meaning that the "case" will be opened daily and the guitar removed/replaced daily. The guts of this frame will get a little more abuse than what were accustomed to. BTW this is for me and I can repair any foul ups but I don't wanna! Thanks.
I wouldn't rely on ATG alone to support anything under stress. To my knowledge, the best pressure-sensitive is 3M's newer family of tapes, #888 single-sided and #889 double-sided. These are polyester tapes with acrylic adhesive; strong & chemically stable over time. That's what we use on clear film mounts. But even the best pressure sensitive adhesives have stress limitations.

For your application, I suggest using something that sticks to both surfaces securely, dries, and will not flow as ATG would. ATG may be used also, to hold temporarliy until the real glue dries.
Jim: Where do you get these 3M #888 and #889 tapes? I haven't seen them listed in my suppliers' catalogs.


P.S. Baer, where do you get the baltic birch? It sounds like great stuff.
IMHO there are no permanent pressure sensitive adhesives! In the 3M ATG Tape Selection Guide wood is not even one of the substrates listed because the resins in wood afffect the ATG terribly - some woods are worse than others.
I would design the liner strips with a small rabbet on both the front and back edges of the strips to engage the glass and the backing. If you miter the ends and wrap the fabric in the miters, no adhesive will be necessary and it will look just fine thank you.

Greg Fremstad
FrameTek, Inc.
Thanks Greg,

Sometimes in relaying information that contains steps, we sometimes forget the basic steps and the wall come tumbling down.
Yes miter with an allowance for the fabric in the miter. Wrap each wall piece and slip into the frame. I use regular ATG just as a third and forth hand. When all walls are in place the ATG only is there for lateral movement when the back
is open or off. I doesn't realy HOLD anything.

BUT! If you ever need to dismantle, it will hold like it was welded.

As for the #888, tried it, wasn't impressed. Wouldn't waste my money. Generic ATG out held in a dead weight and shear test.